Remember when the phone was something you used to make calls — or when Google was used solely for search? Facebook was still a way to connect with long-lost friends, eBay served as the platform for auctioning off old stuff and Amazon was just an online bookstore.
Had the experts predicted back then that these entrepreneurial ideas would someday lead to the extinction of malls and the transformation of brick-and-mortar behemoths, brands and retailers may have brushed off those predictions as implausible nonsense.
Yet here we are 20 years later, and these forces have completely changed how, when, and where we shop. Online shopping has officially exceeded in-store sales, and e-commerce experienced its biggest surge in nearly eight years. Innovations in mobile, social, and search alone have propelled e-commerce further and faster than virtually every other industry in this century.
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